You can’t fight it. Valentine’s Day is everywhere. Whether you are single, dating or married there is no denying that people, restaurants and shops are telling you that something needs to happen. Be it buying lingerie, a meal, or cocktails for a single’s event.
If my husband actually brought me flowers on Valentine’s Day it would probably start snowing in Johannesburg in the February heat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that he isn’t romantic. In fact, in his case its quite the opposite. Which is why we don’t make a big deal about Valentine’s day. We never have. Ok, we celebrated Valentine’s Day in a big way once, but in our defense that Valentine’s Day happened while we were on our honeymoon and the hotel made a big deal about it. Mauritz does special things for me when he wants to. He has a way of bringing me flowers on the day that I feel down. Or making a big deal about my birthday, or planning little surprises for us when I’ve been working long hours. He doesn’t want to bring me flowers because he “has to”. He would prefer it to be a surprise.
No matter where you turn you are going to be reminded about the “occasion”, or the radio adverts are going to try and guilt you into doing something for Valentines Day. So here are a few ideas on how to un-Valentine your Valentine’s Days and do things a little non-commercially. Without getting all kinds of cynical about it.
Un-Valentine you day in 5 easy steps
1. Set the flat on fire
Literally. The first time we spent the 14th of February together as a couple we decided to do a fondue in Mauritz’s flat instead of paying extra to go to a restaurant. The idea was to do something a little different to what we usually do together, but without falling into all the commercial trappings. As a joke, Mauritz took the fire extinguisher off the fridge for the fondue. We were unable to find methylated spirits for the occasion and used paraffin instead. Which over heated causing the paraffin to run over the burner causing a small fire. We ended up having to use the fire extinguisher. The flat was luckily not harmed and the ottoman that the fondue was standing on was only slightly singed. We proceeded to spend the rest of the evening cleaning up the powder released from the fire extinguisher, which was everywhere. Everywhere.
The result is that we bonded over cleaning powder. We had a laugh about it. It made us talk about what could have happened in an emergency situation. We also have a cool story about our first Valentine’s together too. Much cooler than if we had gone to a restaurant. So try something a little out of the box.
2. Gesture it
So you would rather skip right over the 14th of February if you could. You hate all its trappings, hearts and cursive writing on mugs. So do a gesture instead. Cook meal, go for a walk. Put up that shelf you’ve been putting off doing. Happy V-Day to you, and there’s a sense of accomplishment to go with it. Or put up the shelf your partner asked you to put up. Trust me, that’s better than over-priced roses.
3. Get Cheesy
Make up the silly poem, and write it down on a piece of red card instead of buying a hallmark rhyme. Send your friends notes, or leave a joke on a colleagues computer or desk drawer for them to find. A friend had his little sister send me flowers when he knew I was having a tough year and he wasn’t around to be a friend. Those flowers on Valentine’s day meant the world to me. Not because we were in love. But because someone was thinking of me, and used the occasion to tell me.
Or wait until tomorrow to buy discount chocolate and pig out post-valentine day.
4. Do what you want to do
Tonight we are running a 10 kilometer road race together. We like running, and most of the time Mauritz pulls off ahead of me but tonight we will run together. At least for a while anyway.
My point is, do what makes you happy. If you want to wear red, buy flowers and serenade someone through a window: do it. You can always blame the fever of the day if you feel embarrassed afterwards. If you want to surround yourself with friends because this day makes you feel lonely do that too. If you want to celebrate the love you have for your family, or your dogs or your favourite coffee go for it.
But if you don’ feel like doing anything differently that’s ok too. Love should me a lot more than a red rose and a fancy restaurant once a year. But don’t get guilted into buying things, or doing things you don’t really feel, or can’t afford because it has to be a special day. Remember, you can make any day special for someone you care about. It doesn’t have to be the 14th of February.
5. Let it inspire
Still haven’t told that girl or guy that you like them? Get swept up in the moment and ask them out for coffee. Or a date, or a bout of chess. Sometimes its fun to let loose, sometimes its fun to make things special. To have a reason to do go speed dating with your friends or sign up on tinder after a glass of red wine. If you’ve been feeling shy or embarrassed, let today embolden you to make that leap. Whatever that leap may be.
If you enjoyed this post (and the images in it) and your are still in the Valentiny hears and flower mood, click here check out our post on Ludwig’s Rose Farm for some more inspiration!